Saturday’s Telegraph gardening section sported an article from Sarah raven called Sow now, enjoy later suggesting she had success with sowing various bee friendly annuals in September rather than waiting until March. It sounds so plausible -sun and rain and the summer legacy of warm soil making for ideal germination conditions. Ah, but what if the winter is like last year I hear you ask? Sarah says that most of her plants survived last winter even with several successive night temperatures down to 14 degrees farenheit. The types she mentions that she used last year are corn poppies, annual scabious, cornflowers, bishop’s flower, Salvia viridis ‘Blue’ and her favourite Euphorbia ‘oblongata’. This year she plans to add musk mallow, dyers greenweed, agrimony, betony, red clover, common knapweed, thistle, wild parsnip, meadow cranesbill and yellow rattle. the last seems a cunning addition as Sarah says it is parasitical on stronger grasses and will thus reduce the competition. She has a website http://www.sarahraven.com so I need to look there are do some research. The Telegraph really has been a steady supporter of the humble honey bee.Another source I might try is the Victoriana Nursery Gardens. I purchased some lovely borage and lupin plants from them and now I have my eye on some seed collections. Milly’s Honey Bee Flower Mix sounds promising, but also Wildflower meadow seed mix seeds and grasses to attract butterflies and bees and the Molly’s Cottage Garden mix. Packets are priced at £3.95 for between 250 and 500 seeds and claim to cover 15 to 25 sq metres per packet. the Pond side plants sound good too – one problem, no pond! Their website is http://www.victoriananursery.co.uk and I better order mine in case my blog readership soars and they sell out!
September sow bee friendly annuals?